Amgen Will Cut Repatha List Price by 60%

Amgen will make evolocumab (Repatha) available at a list price of $5850, a 60% reduction from its annual list price of $14,100.

Amgen has announced that it will reduce the price of its cholesterol drug evolocumab (Repatha) by 60%, from its annual list price of $14,100, according to a company press release.1

Once the price cut is implemented, Amgen will make evolocumab available at a reduced list price of $5850 by introducing new National Drug Codes.1

In a statement, Murdo Gordon, executive vice president of Global Commercial Operations at Amgen, called it a “unique solution for a unique situation.”1

Evolocumab, which is a proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9) inhibitor, was approved in 2015 by the FDA as an adjunct to diet and other low-density lipoprotein- (LDL) lowering therapies, such as statins, in patients with primary hyperlipidemia and homozygous familial hypercholesterolemia, who require additional lowering of LDL cholesterol. Evolocumab is also indicated for adults with established cardiovascular disease to reduce the risk of heart attack, stroke, and coronary revascularization.1

Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women in the United States and remains a significant public health issue. Approximately 630,000 Americans die from heart disease each year, according to the CDC.2 PCSK9 inhibitors offer an effective option to help patients reduce their risk of serious cardiovascular events, providing potentially life-saving benefits. However, the high cost of these medications result in barriers to access.

Amgen has been offering payers significant rebates on evolocumab in exchange for improved patient access through more simple utilization management criteria; however, Gordon noted that higher rebates do not typically lead to lower out-of-pocket costs for patients, especially those covered under Medicare. Amgen hopes that the move will improve affordability by lowering patient copays.1

Robert A Bradway, chairman and CEO at Amgen, also stated in the release that an estimated 75% of Medicare patients prescribed a PCSK9 inhibitor never actually fill their prescriptions, largely due to high out-of-pocket costs.1

“While we hope more patients will benefit from swift adoption of these lower-priced options, it is ultimately a payer decision,” Gordon said.1

Evolocumab’s competitor alirocumab (Praluent, Sanofi and Regeneron), which was approved a month before evolocumab for high-risk patients, also came with an original price tag of more than $14,000. In March, Sanofi and Regeneron announced they would be reducing the drug’s price under a deal with Express Scripts, in exchange for the pharmacy benefit manager including the drug on its formulary.2 (Read more on Express Scripts' 2019 formulary here)

Amgen will continue to offer evolocumab at its original price, but is expected to discontinue the original cost by the end of 2020 or sooner, according to the release.1

Related Coverage: Repatha Significantly Improved Cholesterol Levels in High-Risk Patients with Type 2 Diabetes

Reference

1. Amgen Makes Repatha® (Evolocumab) Available In The US At A 60 Percent Reduced List Price [news release]. Amgen’s website. https://amgen.com/media/news-releases/2018/10/amgen-makes-repatha-evolocumab-available-in-the-us-at-a-60-percent-reduced-list-price/. Accessed October 25, 2018.

2. CDC Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention. Heart Disease Fact Sheet. CDC’s website. https://www.cdc.gov/dhdsp/data_statistics/fact_sheets/fs_heart_disease.htm. Accessed October 25, 2018.

3. Sanofi and Regeneron to lower net price of Praluent® (alirocumab) Injection in exchange for straightforward, more affordable patient access for Express Scripts patients [news release]. PR Newswire. https://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/sanofi-and-regeneron-to-lower-net-price-of-praluent-alirocumab-injection-in-exchange-for-straightforward-more-affordable-patient-access-for-express-scripts-patients-300639912.html. Accessed October 25, 2018.